Lenoir City Board of Education On Monday unanimously
selected Jeanne Barker as the district's next superintendent.
Barker accepted the position by
phone, contingent on contract negotiations.
"I'm very honored to be supported with such an
outstanding vote of confidence from the board. It humbles me, and I look forward to putting all my
efforts into doing good things for the boys and girls and teachers of Lenoir City," Barker said
Tuesday in a telephone interview.
Barker is Lebanon Special School District associate
director in middle Tennessee. She will begin at the start of the new year, according to Charles
Cagle, general counselor for Lenoir City Schools.
In her new role, Barker said she plans to
initially review the district's long-term goals.
"The board has a five-year plan that I would
like to become familiar with, talk to each of the board members about the goals for the district,
review information with the leadership in the district - that would be principals and district
leadership - and also have an opportunity to meet the teachers, to hear from them and see where we
need to go from there, build on the good things that are currently in place and then see where we
need to continue to improve," Barker said.
Barker's involvement with the Teacher
Instructional Growth for Effectiveness and Results teacher evaluation model and previous experience
specifically at the elementary school level gave her an advantage, board members said.
specifically said you've got to start in the lower grades and go up. ... and I don't know how she
knew this, but when she said that I thought, 'Man, that's what some of the parents have been talking
to me about.' My vote would go with Barker," board member Bobby Johnson Sr. said during discussion
at Monday's meeting.
"You've got to teach them when they're young, and she'll catch the upper
without any problems," Johnson said. "That's what I'm tickled about is she emphasized a lot of stuff
with the elementary. ... This is what she's good at is in the elementary. I'm sure that's what she's
going to work on." Board chairwoman Rosemary Quillen said Barker's desire to continue the good
work of retiring Superintendent Wayne Miller was key to her decision.
"The TIGER model that
was a huge plus to me because she was involved in authoring that, along with Mr. Miller," Quillen
said. "That is the evaluation tool that we use in our school system, which I think is most
advantageous to our teachers and will be very important in determining teacher accountability in our
system, and coming from Wayne being in the development of it and Dr. Barker that was very important
to me that that would be a constant tool for our teachers and the best tool."
knowledgeable about Core Curriculum and new standards. She had a good review from the advisory
teams, the schools that interviewed her," Quillen said, adding she believes Barker is "proactive in
some of the problems that we brought before her.
"She is open to student and community input,
and she very much wants to be a part of our community, and she understands a five-year plan,"
Quillen said. "I think she will be a good fit here. I'm very excited about the new opportunities we
For board member Mitch Ledbetter, it was a gut feeling.
"I just had a feeling
she would be a better fit for us as far as community-wise, school-wise," Ledbetter said.
board previously narrowed its search to two candidates, Barker and Donna Wright, assistant
superintendent at Williamson County Schools. The two candidates went through a scheduled
meet-and-greet session last week with the three schools, the board, central office staff, city
officials and the public. Each school also formed teacher and parent committees to give impressions
of each candidate before the board named a successor.
Board member Rick Chadwick said
Barker's knowledge of a five-year plan for a district is "what changed my mind."
it when she talked about capital projects, and as much as we've done in the past in our five-year
plan, all these buildings we've built and so forth, that's the only way you can do it. She mentioned
it. ... Everyone in this room knows about our five-year plan. It's huge," Chadwick
Quillen and Cagle will negotiate Barker's contract, which includes tenure, salary and
benefits. The board will vote on the contract at the next regular board meeting Dec.